Dump Feat Chains


Prerelease Discussion


2 people marked this as a favorite.

One thing I do like about 5E is no feat chains. My theory is just get rid of them and overahul the existing feats to make them more competitive with each other (ie toughness could be +2 con).

For some of the more powerful feats you can just put requirements on them that are somewhat simple probably level based.

Eg
Super Awesome Feat
Requirement level 11
This feat lets you be super awesome XYZ times per day.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Dear asmodeus please make this so. Feat tax is an unnecessary annoyance. I shouldnt need a feat to attack more powerfully or hit things closer to me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

For balance of very powerful feat chains: Make them ONE feat that scales as you gain level/BAB or whatever. Instead of having to pick up all 3-5 editions of it when you hit the reqs.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Or roll multiple feats into one for those less powerful ones. For example, point-blank and precise shot. Make it a flat +1 to hit and you dont take penalties for firing into melee as 1 feat instead of 2.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think many of the zany-chainy stuff is going to fold into skill unlocks with a lot of combat maneuvers moving over to skill based checks.

Cheeto Sam, Esquire wrote:
I shouldnt need a feat to attack more powerfully or hit things closer to me.

How else would a martial character gain bonuses to damage if not by feats? I agree that things that feel like anyone should be able to try should not require a feat in order to attempt. (I don't want grappling to be impossible without a feat, for example, because sometimes trying to grab a wizard is worth provoking an AoO against with my paladin who doesn't have improved grapple.) But feats are a great way to represent the way characters actually train to get better at specific things at the cost of being good at everything.

Feats were one of the huge upgrades from second edition to third.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Down with Combat Expertise!

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Im not arguing against feats in general, im saying certain ones are silly to have to take versus just having. For example what my friends and i do is every class gets power attack for free at a certain point. Full bab classes get it at 1st, 3/4 get it at 4th and 1/2 get it at 6th.


Cheeto Sam, Esquire wrote:
Or roll multiple feats into one for those less powerful ones. For example, point-blank and precise shot. Make it a flat +1 to hit and you dont take penalties for firing into melee as 1 feat instead of 2.

I kind of made a BECMI/3.x clone once and rolled a lot of feats into one. Iron Will and the other 2 became a single feat that granted +2 on all saves.

Other feats were removed, I used the 4E power attack feat (-2/+3) dodge became a flat +1 AC, things like that.


8 people marked this as a favorite.

A sour joke I often hear about Pathfinder in RPG circles:
Q: Does a bear poop in the woods?
A: It can by level 15 after taking the requisite 5-feat chain.

Shadow Lodge

I don't think all feat chains are bad but some feat chains should be a single feat with inherent scaling (i.e. vital strike). Related: There are definitely certain feats that should be baseline combat options available to all characters (power attack and deadly aim for example) rather than a feat IMHO.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cheeto Sam, Esquire wrote:
Or roll multiple feats into one for those less powerful ones. For example, point-blank and precise shot. Make it a flat +1 to hit and you dont take penalties for firing into melee as 1 feat instead of 2.

Oh dear Jesus they better be just doing away with the "firing into melee" penalty altogether. Keep the cover penalty, but requiring Precise Shot is just so restrictive to anyone who wants to be a switch hitter (which is a very popular request for beginning players in my experience.)


I could just be making this up, but I am pretty certain that all the damage feats will be factored into the new proficiency system that will grant some kind of bonus to damage based upon level.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:

I think many of the zany-chainy stuff is going to fold into skill unlocks with a lot of combat maneuvers moving over to skill based checks.

Cheeto Sam, Esquire wrote:
I shouldnt need a feat to attack more powerfully or hit things closer to me.

How else would a martial character gain bonuses to damage if not by feats? I agree that things that feel like anyone should be able to try should not require a feat in order to attempt. (I don't want grappling to be impossible without a feat, for example, because sometimes trying to grab a wizard is worth provoking an AoO against with my paladin who doesn't have improved grapple.) But feats are a great way to represent the way characters actually train to get better at specific things at the cost of being good at everything.

Feats were one of the huge upgrades from second edition to third.

Kind of, they did have some advantage but 2E AD&D functionally had feats and in some ways the 3E fighter was actually nerfed.

We used the rule that high intelligence grants extra NWP and warriors could use that to get extra WPs and they started with 4.

An 18 intelligence fighter got 11 WPs at level 1 (functionally 11 feats). One of my PCs in 2E using the fighters handbook had a high intelligence fighter that specialised in 3 different combat styles + weapon specialisation.

I have seen an AD&D 2E fighter solo a Lich, ancient Dragon and Marilith Tanaari in 3 rounds (one each round), and shrug off save or dies due to great saves (he was level 13 or 14 IIRC)

5E made feats optional but baked in things like action surge which is similar to how the 2E fighter soloed all those critters (dual wielding longswords+ bracers of the blinding strike).

Feats do add complexity and in some cases make it harder for the DM to run encounters (monster statblocks for example).

In general a 3E fighter I find is actually worse than a 2E one especially 2E ones using some of the optional rules (eg kits, Fighters handbooks, Combat and Tactics).

Less moving parts, more powerful fighter. 5E would be another example of that idea.

We went from Pathfinder back to 2E in 2012, the fighter player was amazed how effective is 2E AD&D fighter was compared with the 3.x ones. My one shot 2E game turned into a AD&D campaign/general OSR revival and we played that until 5E landed.


I don't mind dependent feats in principle, there are some feats that logically follow on from another, but no feat should be dependent on more than 2 other feats - absolute maximum.

The Exchange

I would be all for taking our firing into melee just on principle and only having it as a binus to ac from cover


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think feat chains are OK when every feat that serves as a prerequisite has both of the following properties:

1. It’s a feat you’d reasonably want, independently of it bring a prerequisite for further feats, and
2. It’s a feat to that does something which the feats that use it as a prerequisite directly expand upon.

So Greater Weapon Focus having Weapon Focus as a prerequisite is fine.

So would a tree nine feats deep, the first which allows you to cast a 1st level spell as a SLA, the second which allows you to cast a 2nd level spell as a SLA, and so on. (So I don’t think *long* feat chains aren’t inherently a bad thing.)

But feat trees with terrible prerequisites that have little to do with the feats they’re prerequisites for (e.g., every feat chain involving Combat Expertise) need to go.

Dark Archive

Embrace feat chains it gives more design options instead of forcing options into a limited perception of power.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Allow for feat chains where each new feat grants a new behavior, and more feats that scale.

Down with feat chains where you have to buy the same frigging feat three times over your career just to make it stay relevant.

Good:
Vital Strike
Prerequisite: BAB +6
Benefit: When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Roll the weapon’s damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together before adding bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), precision-based damage, and other damage bonuses. At BAB +11 and again at BAB +16, roll your weapon's damage dice an additional time when using this feat.

Two-Weapon Fighting: Allows you to fight effectively with two weapons by greatly reducing all penalties involved. As your BAB increases, you can make more attacks with your off-hand.

Improved Two-Weapon Fighting: You're faster with your two weapons, and can now make a double-attack as an attack action, striking once with each of your weapons. If you can make more than one attack of opportunity, you can also double-attack as an AoO, expending one AoO for each weapon strike.

Greater Two-Weapon Fighting: You're even better with your two weapons now, taking no penalties at all for using two-weapon fighting. You gain an additional benefit, such as the ability to make a free combat maneuver that doesn't provoke when you hit with your main and off-hand weapons.

Bad
Vital Strike, Improved Vital Strike, Greater Vital Strike

The TWF chain as it currently exists.


I think one issue is that things like vital strike and TWF are not viable as one feat so it becomes a commitment to specialization and boring since you're up keeping one ability rather than gaining anything new. The other issue is feats nobody wants to get feats everyone mildly wants.

The Exchange

And maybe have double slice be a thing baked into the TWF feat. Assuming the feat grows based on your level have the 3rd level bump be double slice. Now you have room for a new 3rd level feat that is neat instead of "i guess ill take double slice in order to still be decent"


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I never had a problem with feat chains in general. I had a problem with tax feats.

To be clear tax feats for the purpose of my post are feats that don't really help the chain, but you have to take.

Combat Expertise is an example of this.

I also think some feats such as the vital strike change should just scale for free. Almost every time I run a monster with the vital strike chain I trade them out for useful feats.


wraithstrike wrote:
I never had a problem with feat chains in general. I had a problem with tax feats.

Same here.

I really don't want to bring the emotions of the other thread here, nor start a war. But all that I'm going to say is that making feats scale as you level up could help solve the LFQW problem people talk so much about.

I really really don't want feats like in 5ed, you can get far too few of them, and you have to give up a very important reasource in exchange for selecting them, not worth the trouble, and too few options.

Clumping a 1ed feat chain into one 2ed feat could be a nice way to solve the feat tax problem, but that will depend on how many feats you actually get in 2nd, I never have enough feats in 1ed, wouldn't want that to be a problem in 2nd. Will feats from multiple sources (Ancestry, Background, Class, General) compete for the same feat slots as you level up? I certainly hope not, I have a feeling that if that were to be the case then Ancestry and Background feats would get left behind, I don't know. It would be nice if it worked like this: at X level intervals you get an Ancestry feat, at Y level intervals you get a Background feat, on top of those every other level you get a class feat if you're a caster or every level if you're not.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cheeto Sam, Esquire wrote:
Or roll multiple feats into one for those less powerful ones. For example, point-blank and precise shot. Make it a flat +1 to hit and you dont take penalties for firing into melee as 1 feat instead of 2.

I'd prefer if the +1 to something or other feats simply disappeared. Feats should do cool stuff. Having an opt-put, like the stat increase from 5E, is better than having all those feats giving small bonuses.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I mean, I guess the question is-

When is "you can do a thing" and "you can do that same thing better" both appropriate feats?

Problem with things like Combat Expertise and Mobility is that people weren't taking them for what they did, just for what they unlocked. I feel like if all feats in a chain are worth taking for what they do, then the feat chain is okay.

Since like "Improved Dirty trick", "Greater Dirty trick", and "Quick Dirty trick" seems like a reasonable feat chain (as do combat styles), the problem for the dirty tricker is that combat expertise is kinda useless.

The Exchange

From what i have heard you still get a feat every odd level and some classes give access to specific types of feats. Im just not sure if feats are now by a class type basis or a more general one. Such as martial feats, caster feats and such. As for a +1 or no, we still will need bonuses to hit. And maybe a +1 is too small or something.


Middle of the road!

On the same page, tax feats suck. Tried to get Weapon Trick: Dual Strike on a Dex-based fist build... Had 3 or 4 useless prereqs, and a lvl 11 requirement (on a thing Unchained Revised Action Economy made a feature). Needing Improved Vital Strike, for a standard action ability that could not be used with Vital Strike... Dumb.

On the flip side, same character goes two steps up the Boar Style and Nightmare Fist trees. Being able to go partway up each to make a new style is fun, and each new step gives her new tools. She doesn't need or want the third step of either, so she can put those resources elsewhere, which feels nice. Like I can diversify the character outside of just combat ability.

End result: All feats should feel good on their own, and feel like options, not just taxes. Trees are not bad, having one option that potentially builds into multiples (like TWF or Power Attack) but IMO, an entire character concept should not need to be devoted to doing one thing.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The main guidelines I think should be kept in mind:

1. Feats should be nice, not necessary. Avoid or severely limit things that CAN'T be done without a big feat investment.

2. Do not overcomplicate trees. 1e's feat system is by far its most bloated segment of the rules and feats became needlessly dense and convoluted because there were too many chains, taxes, and things that didn't need to be related used to form feat trees. Feat chains should be concise and to the point when they exist at all, and scaling feats should be the norm, not buying the same feat again 5 levels later.

3. Do not design like a character has feats coming out of their ears. Pathfinder misstepped badly in my opinion in that the presence of the fighter and its bonus feats seemed to encourage combat feats in particular to be designed like you get dozens to spend. For the most part, you don't, which means putting too many feat slots on the price tag of something nice means it will only come up late-game or not at all for most classes. Fighters and other classes with lots of bonus feats BENEFIT from keeping feat selection concise and free of taxes, because in a world where you don't have to sink twelve feats into two-weapon fighting or throwing weapons to be good at either style a fighter could stand above other martials in the sheer number of styles he could master rather than making his claim to fame a way to pay his taxes on one style faster.


Or how about as a suggestion, we keep feat chains but move the feats into one feat. When you reach the requirements for the next step in the chain, you get that benefit.

-Just My 2 Copper


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The only time I'm ok with Feat chains is when the later feats can't function without the earlier ones. Otherwise I'd prefer they either level gate them, or simply list 'suggested companion feats' or whatever you want to call it for feats that would work well with it.


4e has no feat chains, just lots of feats. That's something PF2 should emulate. Use feats to make your character more interesting, not more powerful. Expertise, focus, finesse, the Point Blank Shot and up... those should be worked into something like Starfinder fighting styles. That would eliminate the need for fighter bonus feats. Mage Tattoo and spell specialization should go too.


Blackwaltzomega wrote:

The main guidelines I think should be kept in mind:

1. Feats should be nice, not necessary. Avoid or severely limit things that CAN'T be done without a big feat investment.

2. Do not overcomplicate trees. 1e's feat system is by far its most bloated segment of the rules and feats became needlessly dense and convoluted because there were too many chains, taxes, and things that didn't need to be related used to form feat trees. Feat chains should be concise and to the point when they exist at all, and scaling feats should be the norm, not buying the same feat again 5 levels later.

3. Do not design like a character has feats coming out of their ears. Pathfinder misstepped badly in my opinion in that the presence of the fighter and its bonus feats seemed to encourage combat feats in particular to be designed like you get dozens to spend. For the most part, you don't, which means putting too many feat slots on the price tag of something nice means it will only come up late-game or not at all for most classes. Fighters and other classes with lots of bonus feats BENEFIT from keeping feat selection concise and free of taxes, because in a world where you don't have to sink twelve feats into two-weapon fighting or throwing weapons to be good at either style a fighter could stand above other martials in the sheer number of styles he could master rather than making his claim to fame a way to pay his taxes on one style faster.

Seconding this, especially no.3


2 people marked this as a favorite.

A few of those rules had to be invented from 2E AD&D to 3.0 then they made feats to get around those rules.

That right there is basically an example of being to complicated. That whole full round action to have multiple attacks come to mind.


A feat should be a fairly big deal, and if you're needing a chain, it should be a VERY big deal, giving you capabilities that are both interesting and mechanically useful.

Pathfinder has far, far too many feats that are either borderline useless, or are just there to keep you from grabbing the good feat that has them as a pre-req.


Wheeljack wrote:
4e has no feat chains, just lots of feats. That's something PF2 should emulate. Use feats to make your character more interesting, not more powerful. Expertise, focus, finesse, the Point Blank Shot and up... those should be worked into something like Starfinder fighting styles. That would eliminate the need for fighter bonus feats. Mage Tattoo and spell specialization should go too.

All the listed examples sound like they could be made class feats (if they are not scrapped altogether).

<speculation>
I am cautiously optimistic about PF2 feats.

Class feats sound like the replacement for all by-choice class features such as rogue tricks, monk ki powers, magus arcana, and so on. Making these class feats has the advantage that you no longer HAVE to take them, you can take feats from the list open to all instead. Also, this leads to fewer special feats/abilities, which simplifies the learning curve and works out if all the annoying prerequisites go away. You get about the same amount of new stuff to do, while getting fewer of the feat tax feats.

Of course the 3/4 BAB classes will need something else to make them competitive. I trust Paizo will see this too.

The Exchange

Well currently it seems like BAB isnt a thing. You get an effective full BAB with a list of the weapons you are proficient with

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / Dump Feat Chains All Messageboards
Recent threads in Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion